Tips for Estimating Car Ownership Costs

Calculating Car Costs - Reliable AutoWhen most of us begin shopping for cars in our younger years, we make the mistake of only looking at the cost of purchasing the car itself. We often fail to take into account the cost of registering, maintaining and insuring our vehicles long-term, much less the cost of refueling.

Obviously, it’s difficult to know exactly how much you will spend on every aspect of owning your car month to month, but you can estimate the costs and set a realistic monthly budget.

Car Payments, Insurance and Registration

When estimating the cost of car ownership, your monthly car payments and insurance are the most logical place to start. These are typically fixed costs and you can get an accurate, detailed quote for these amounts directly from your insurance company and bank. These are payments you will make every single month so they are predictable.

Your state and county generally set registration fees. You can get a rough idea of how much this will cost you each year to keep your car street legal and add that to your annual budget.


You may not be taking your car to the shop every month for maintenance, but you can count on getting an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, and you can break that cost up into monthly installments. You can also predict when you will need new tires and brakes based on mileage. Do some shopping online to figure out how much you can expect those services to cost based on the vehicle of your choice.

Remember, some brands are much more expensive to maintain than others, due to specialty parts. Planning ahead for regular maintenance will go a long way toward keeping your car in good shape.


Most people keep their gas money separate from their car payment in their budget. However, differences in fuel economy between models can have a big impact on how much it costs to operate your car. Do the math based on your current driving habits and see how much the new car will cost or save you in fuel.

Reliable Auto Sales

There are a variety of online calculators designed to help you estimate the cost of ownership. The longer you own the car, the less it costs you per month. Contact Reliable Auto Sales today to find a new car at a great price.

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